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Greek Theater Western Civilization. The Greek Theater 5 th Century B. C. Golden Age of Greek Drama Dramatic festivals were popular People witnessed tragic.

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Presentation on theme: "Greek Theater Western Civilization. The Greek Theater 5 th Century B. C. Golden Age of Greek Drama Dramatic festivals were popular People witnessed tragic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Greek Theater Western Civilization

2 The Greek Theater 5 th Century B. C. Golden Age of Greek Drama Dramatic festivals were popular People witnessed tragic and comic plays

3 Overview of Greek Theatre The land The myths The stage

4 The Land Greece has thousands of inhabited islands and dramatic mountain ranges Greece has a rich culture and history Democracy was founded in Greece Patriarchal (male dominated) society Philosophy, as a practice, began in Greece (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle)

5 The Land Located in Europe in the Aegean Sea


7 The Land

8 Overview of Greek Theatre The land The myths The stage

9 The Stage

10 Three Main Portions of Greek Theatre: Skene – Portion of stage where actors performed (included 1-3 doors in and out) Orchestra – Dancing Place where chorus sang to the audience Theatron – Seating for audience

11 The Stage

12 Greek plays were performed during religious ceremonies held in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry (altars generally on stage) Banks would shut down for days, people would travel from all around to see the drama competitionseven prisoners were temporarily released to see the plays Tragedy means goat song (relates to Dionysian rituals)

13 The Stage

14 Where and how were the dramas performed? …In an amphitheatre …With a chorus who described most of the action. …With masks …With all the fighting and movement going on off stage. ….With tragedy first, then comedy later.

15 Masks of Greek Theater

16 The masks were worn for many reason including: 1. Visibility 2. Acoustic Assistance 3. Few Actors, Many Roles 4. Characterization

17 Some general categories of masks 1. OLD MEN Smooth-Faced, White, Grizzled, Black-Haired, Flaxen and More Flaxen 2. YOUNG MEN Common, Curled, More Curled, Graceful, Horrid, Pale and Less Pale 3. SLAVES Leathern, Peaked-Beard, Flat Nose 4. WOMEN Freed Old Woman, Old Domestic, Middle Aged, Leathern, Pale-Disheveled, Pale Middle Aged, Whorish-Disheveled, Virgin, Girl 5. SPECIALIST MASKS Some made for specific characters, others for: Mourning, Blindness, Deceit, Drunkenness...etc. (The comic masks, those especially of old comedy, were as like as possible to true persons they represented, or made to appear more ridiculous)


19 Masks of Greek Theater



22 Modern-day replicas Hero-King Comedy (Servant or Herald ) Tragedy (Weeping Chorus)

23 Theater at Epidaurus


25 Major Greek Dramatists Aeschylus524 B.C.Seven Against Thebes Sophocles496 B.C.Antigone Oedipus Euripides480 B.C.Medea DramatistBornWrote

26 Sophocles Antigone Set in Thebes (a city in ancient Greece) Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta Antigones brothers, Eteokles and Polyneces, took opposite sides in a war Eteokles and Polyneces killed each other in battle Antigones uncle, Kreon, became king of Thebes

27 Sophocles


29 Greek Comedy and Aristophanes


31 Euripides Medea Medea is a princess from Colchis Medea marries Jason, who is in Colchis on a quest for the Golden Fleece Medea betrays her father and murders her brother for her love of Jason Medea has magical powers Jason takes Medea back to his homeland, Corinth, where they have children Jason takes another wife, the king of Corinths daughter

32 Jasons Voyage on the Argo Jason and Medea meet Corinth: Where Jason and Medea settle down

33 Overview of Greek Theatre The land The myths The stage

34 Myths played a key role in Greek drama

35 The Myths – Why they were written 1. Explained the unexplainable 2. Justified religious practices 3. Gave credibility to leaders 4. Gave hope 5. Polytheistic (more than one god) 6. Centered around the twelve Olympians (primary Greek gods)

36 Explained the Unexplainable When Echo tried to get Narcissus to love her, she was denied. Saddened, she shriveled to nothing, her existence melting into a rock. Only her voice remained. Hence, the echo!

37 To justify religious practices Dionysian cults in ancient Greece were founded to worship Dionysus, god of grapes, vegetation, and wine.

38 Roots in Worship of Dionysus God of wine and revelry

39 Theater of Dionysus Dionysia was an annual festival in honor of the god Dionysus Theater of Dionysus was an open-air Theater with room for fifteen thousand spectators

40 Theater of Dionysus carved out of a stone hillside looked like a semicircle with steeply rising tiers of seats

41 Theater of Dionysus

42 At the bottom was the rounded orchestra or performance area where the chorus sang and danced

43 Dionysus Theater in Athens

44 Theater of Dionysus Behind the orchestra was an open, almost bare, stage where actors spoke their lines from behind huge masks

45 Dionysus Theater in Athens


47 Theater of Dionysus Male actors performed all the roles Actors switched masks to play a number of roles – both female and male

48 Dionysus and Satyrs

49 To give credibility to leaders Used myths to create family trees for their leaders, enforcing the made-up idea that the emperors were related to the gods and were, then, demigods.

50 To give hope The ancient citizens of Greece would sacrifice and pray to an ORACLE. An oracle was a priest or priestess who would send a message to the gods from mortals who brought their requests. Where DID hope come from? After unleashing suffering, famine, disease, and many other evils, the last thing Pandora let out was HOPE.

51 Oracle of Delphi


53 Delphi


55 Mount Olympus… …Where the Olympians lived. Who are the Olympians?

56 The Olympians Are the 12 Main Gods

57 The Olympians

58 Zeus King of gods Heaven Storms Thunder lightning

59 Poseidon Zeuss brother King of the sea Earthquakes Horses

60 Hades Brother to Zeus and Poseidon King of the Underworld (Tartarus) Husband of Persphone

61 Ares God of war

62 Hephaestus God of fire Craftspeople Metalworkers Artisans

63 Apollo God of the sun Music Poetry Fine arts Medicine

64 Hermes Messenger to the gods Trade Commerce Travelers Thieves & scoundrels

65 Dionysus God of Wine Partying (Revelry)

66 Hera Queen of gods Women Marriage Childbirth

67 Demeter Goddess of Harvest Agriculture Fertility Fruitfulness Mom to Persephone

68 Hestia Goddess of Hearth Home Community

69 Athena Goddess of wisdom Practical arts War

70 Aphrodite Goddess of love and beauty

71 Artemis Goddess of hunting and the moon.

72 The Storyline

73 Central Character is of the Elite Class

74 Central Character suffers a Downfall

75 Central Character is Neither Wholly good nor wholly evil

76 Downfall is the result of a Fatal Flaw

77 Misfortunes involve characters who are related or who are friends

78 Tragic actions take place offstage

79 Central Character has a moment of recognition

80 Audience experiences pity and fear

81 Pity and Fear leads to a catharsis

82 The End

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